Oct 172014
Diving the Lot - the Cregol

This was the best dive of the trip. You’ll have to excuse me for adding far too many photos to this post because I just can’t choose between them. Duncan and I headed off to the Cregol with our rebreathers while the rest of the team headed for Landenouse (which requires ropes to get in to). Unfortunately they ended up diving back at St Savaeur again due to divers at Landenouse, while Duncan and I had a brilliant day at the Cregol. The Cregol has an entrance restriction into the small and short first sump, followed by a large-ish dry chamber and a deep second sump. The second sump meant I was keen to take my rEvo in there, but [read more…]

Oct 142014
Diving the Lot - Ressel 2

Ressel 2 seems to be a good back up plan for divers in the Lot when the parking at the Ressel is full of minivans on your arrival. The dive is similar to the Ressel in that it starts in a river, stays shallow for the early parts and then jumps down a deep shaft. However the vis was not as good and the cave walls a bit darker – I can see why this is the number 2 cave in comparison. After swimming across the river upstream into the gentle current we found a rock or two to sit on and waited for Georg to find the entrance. On descent the murky but warm river water gave way to [read more…]

Oct 102014
Diving the Lot - St Georges

Fontain de St Georges was one of what I was expecting as a “typical” Lot cave – large tunnels with dark and slightly milky water. The vis was average at the beginning but cleared up as we progressed down the tunnel. From the large entrance pool it heads straight down to 30m depth before getting larger, clearer and gently sloping up. With Ken off to Tolouse to fetch Forrest and Tom packing up for his trip home to Germany, I only had three models in the water. This made handling the murky water in the larger tunnel easier, as I could get the divers closer to the camera without cutting anyone out. I particularly like the first shot here for [read more…]

Oct 032014
Diving the Lot - St Saveur

St Saveur is a large, straight, dark tunnel that heads straight down into the depths. I knew beforehand that this would be a relatively short dive as within a couple of hundred metres the cave is down well past 60m. Georg also mentioned before we got in the water that the vis can be quite different above and below the 13m mark. The very large entrance pool was relatively clear so I was hoping for much clearer below. Unfortunately it was not to be, and we moved into the dirty water underneath. After an initial gravel slope there is a “restriction” which you can see in the first photo here. I got some nice shots of each diver passing through [read more…]

Sep 302014
Diving the Lot - Fontaine de Truffe

After a check out dive in the Cabouy (which is big and dark with average vis), and the Ressel (which was lovely but a bit milky), I was excited about a trip into La Truffe. Rather than an active streamway, the water in La Truffe in summer comes from percolation through the limestone. This means the vis is crystal clear and very Gambier-esque. The tunnel here is smaller than the first two caves and stays shallow through a number of sumps over a long distance. Our plan was to dive the first sump and have a look in the second. The one concern was the size of the entrance restriction. I was keen to take the rEvo in rather than moving [read more…]

Sep 232014
Diving the Lot - the Ressel

I’ve just hit the ground in Australia after a brilliant two weeks cave diving in France topped off with speaking at Eurotek in the UK. Over the course of the trip I took over 2,000 photos in the French caves. And over the next few weeks I’m looking forward to sharing my favourites with you, with a little backstory behind them. As usual, huge thanks to those who made my diving possible and enjoyable and accommodated my need to take lots of photos – Joachim Krieselemaier, Tom Feiden, Georg Stauch, Duncan Price, Forrest Wilson and Ken Smith. Thanks also to Leigh Bishop, Eurotek co-founder, for inviting me to the conference to speak about our ongoing Elk River project in Birmingham. [read more…]